Earlier this week, we posted an article about how to get your restaurant ready to take online orders through your Clover® device. But it’s not just restaurants feeling the squeeze of this shutdown. If you have a retail or service business, your foot traffic is also likely drastically reduced, maybe even non-existent. Perhaps you’ve thought about bringing your business online, but aren’t sure where to begin. This post details two different options available through Clover to get your store online as quickly and easily as possible: Ecwid and BigCommerce.
Why take your business online
While there is an obvious push to go online to stay afloat right at this moment, there are a number of other benefits to consider. E-commerce can be a smart move for your business not just in the present moment, but also in the long term once physical distancing rules are relaxed. Consider the following:
- Remote work is a necessity for most people right now, but even when restrictions are relaxed, it’s great to have options. Having a robust online store means you can continue to manage your business wherever you are.
- Customer service may be a cornerstone of your in-person shopping experience, but online stores can offer you a different opportunity to connect with your customers. You may be able to offer live chat support so that you can maintain high-touch relationships with your customers.
- Expanding your market is a great advantage of going online. If you are a highly specialized store, you may need to look beyond your local community to find your market in challenging times like these. Having an online storefront allows you to connect with potential customers and clients not just outside of your local area, but anyone obliged to shelter at home.
- Receiving orders, questions, and requests around the clock may seem daunting, but it might be easier to handle things this way in the long run. Consider setting aside an hour each day for responding to emails or requests in a batch, rather than on a rolling basis as things come in. This practice streamlines your time and ensures that your customers will get timely and consistent responses.
For more ideas, read our article detailing the first 5 things you should do when opening an online store.
Launching an online store with Ecwid
If your inventory is relatively manageable, Ecwid® is a great option for online selling. The store setup is simple, but includes advanced features to help you navigate issues of closure and distancing policies. The ideal business type for the Ecwid e-commerce platform includes small and mid-sized businesses, including small restaurants.
One of the first things you should do when signing up with Ecwid is download the Sell Online app in the Clover App Market. This app automatically syncs your products, inventory, and orders from your Clover platform to your new Ecwid-powered store. You can add your new store to your current website, or build a new site with one of the many design templates at your disposal within Ecwid.
Once your store is active, Ecwid makes it easy to sell on other platforms: Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and more. You can schedule curbside pickups or offer a variety of shipping options, and it’s easy to offer discount coupons when you need to spark more traffic. You can even sell gift cards for future use.
Right now Ecwid is offering an extended free 90-day trial so you can get your online business up and running without worry. There’s no setup fee or transaction fees. And if you need help, Ecwid’s support team is available for you via live chat. They also have a live demo in the form of an online taqueria that you can explore. Learn more and get started at www.ecwid.com/clover.
Use BigCommerce to create a robust online store
Another partner we work with is BigCommerce®, ideal for larger, more established businesses, especially in the retail space. So if your inventory is considerable, and/or you have multiple locations, you’ll need an e-commerce platform designed to accommodate them. BigCommerce is a great option if you need your online store to be a workhorse and are willing to put in the time to design and customize it to your specific needs. Ideal verticals for BigCommerce include fashion and apparel, home goods, sporting goods, toy stores, and more.
To get started, install BigCommerce on your Clover POS. Then, you can easily import your Clover catalog into a BigCommerce online store with just a few clicks. You can also accept online payments and view orders using your existing Clover merchant account. As you sell online (and offline when your store is open), your inventory stock counts will stay updated across both your Clover device and BigCommerce.
Like Ecwid, BigCommerce is offering Clover merchants their first 3 months free* on the platform from now until June 30th, 2020.
“Business as usual” may no longer apply to many small merchants in this crisis, but you have options and support systems to help you protect your business and serve your community while supporting your staff. We’re spending our days working on more ways to support our merchants to help you weather the storm. In addition to our blog posts, check out these web pages on financial relief, business preparedness, and our general merchant resources.
* Terms and conditions apply.
To learn more about Clover, visit www.clover.com.